Ted Cruz defends presidential credentials

01:38 - Source: CNN
Cruz: Obama was a 'back-bencher'
Washington CNN —  

They’re both Harvard Law School graduates, constitutional lawyers and senators who launched presidential campaigns during their first terms.

But Ted Cruz has little else in common with Barack Obama, he said Sunday.

“I think there are a lot more notable differences between us than the similarities,” the Texas Republican told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”

READ: Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare

He said he’s had much more influence in the Senate than Obama, who he said was a “back-bencher” during his four years there.

“He had not been leading on issues of any significance,” Cruz said. “In my time in the Senate, you can accuse me of being a lot of things, but a back-bencher is not one of them.”

Asked about his ability to compromise as the potential leader of the country, Cruz admitted there’s only one federal law with his name on it – a ban on terrorists coming to the U.S. as diplomats, which won universal approval in Congress.

But he also pointed to Senate Democrats leadership of the Senate as the reason not much of anything passed the body during his time there.

And Cruz said his work as the Texas solicitor general is an important qualification for his run for the White House, too.

“I was not a community organizer before I was elected to the Senate,” Cruz said, referring to Obama’s work after college and before law school.

“I spent five and a half years as the solicitor-general of Texas, the chief lawyer for the state of Texas in front of the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said. “I supervised and led every appeal for the state of Texas in a 4,000 person agency with over 700 lawyers and over the course of five and a half years, over and over again, Texas led the nation defending conservative principles and winning.”